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Balancing Act: My Husband Had a Child with Mistress

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An anonymous woman shared the hurt of discovering her husband had an affair, her struggle to rebuild their marriage... and learning to accept his new son into their lives. From Essence.com.

balancing act essence

Yes, it sounds very Jerry Springer, but we, my family, are not. To outsiders my husband and I seemed to have a great union. We got hitched in our mid-twenties and immediately began pursuing our piece of the American dream. We had great careers. We had good friends. We had a beautiful home. There is one thing that we forgot to maintain: a strong connection. It didn't happen overnight. Losing my husband was kind of like gaining weight, you know one day you realize that everything you're wearing is 80% elastic, but then you remember you added another food group to your diet...chocolate cake. When it comes to my marriage, I recall making what seemed like small choices at the time that had big consequences later.

So what happened? Being a Stepford wife -- perfect house, kids, career and man -- is easy to watch on television, but hard to replicate in the real world. A few years into our marriage we had two kids and, while my husband is a loving father, I ended up doing the lion's share of the work. I was exhausted, mentally and physically, every day. More importantly, I grew to resent him.

As my requests for him to step up as an active co-parent continued to receive a cold shoulder I experienced another big chill, in my heart. I felt he was being selfish and stubborn and eventually it created a wedge in our relationship. During this time we discussed separating and the possibility of divorce. Neither happened. What did occur was the ultimate betrayal. My husband had an affair with another woman, who became pregnant and decided to have the child.

Finding out about the affair hurt, but learning about the outside child made me enraged. How could he be so irresponsible and stupid? A kid would be a daily reminder of the pain of his affair, a recurrent embarrassment (how do you explain 'this one isn't mine, it's his') and an extra bill. Eventually, after much prayer and counseling, my husband and I reconciled. The decision wasn't easy. Initially, I felt like I'd walk around with a scarlet K on me, and everyone would know that my husband cheated and had a child on me. But I realized that wasn't my shame to carry -- it's his. My husband must cope with knowing that he brought a life into this world in an unseemly manner and one day he will have to explain that to his son.

Today, I am balancing rebuilding my marriage and accepting my husband's young son into our lives. I recognize that forgiving my husband means letting go of the hurt and looking forward -- which is easy to say, but hard to do. Even more challenging was pushing myself to a place where I could truly love his son, and accept him as part of our household. I'm working on it. Rebuilding the trust, bond and intimacy in my marriage has been a labor of love. Hopefully, we'll give birth to something greater together.

For more "Balancing Act" stories, go to Essence.com.


next: Soccer Mom Reveals Secret Past as Fugitive
10 comments so far | Post a comment now
Cathy  April 11, 2011, 11:01 AM

I am glad you have come to the realization that this is your husband actions not yours. However do not hold your breath waiting for him to feel guilty. people that selfish rarely do. He mY never admit fault.

Anonymous April 11, 2011, 6:59 PM

what a focker!

Anonymous April 11, 2011, 7:00 PM

He’s a piece of crap!

Anonymous April 11, 2011, 11:02 PM

I agree with those above. I hope someone can teach that child to become a better man than his father.

Anonymous April 12, 2011, 12:07 PM

I understand and appreciate the post. The best way to move forward for your marriage is to first close everything off. The other woman and the child. Once your marriage is at a good place, then you can introduce the new child into the family. Who cares what others think about not communicating with them for a period of time. That time will be needed to get your marriage back on track. For you to get yourself together and decide if you plan to stay or not. They often say that the only way to break away from the affair is to let go and have no contact. That is what you must do. He should be responsible and pay child support, or what ever they have decided that would be sufficient to care for the child. After that, no contact for a period of time for your marriage to heal. There is no bonding, and visiting like a real family. That will never happen because of the choice she made to how she would concieve her child. She lost that traditional family affair when she had a baby by a man that could not be there for her.

Best wishes, and good luck

Mylissa April 13, 2011, 10:39 AM

OMG The father of my two children cheated on me… I was done. Now they have a Son and a new baby on the way… And guess what he is cheating on her. I don’t need an STD to see that he was a dirt bag. And now I am married to a great who’s phone doesn’t go off at 3 am. I am not saying anyones perfect, I just want someone who loves me enough to let me go if they aren’t happy…

PeopleRCrazy April 13, 2011, 10:49 AM

If he ever cared anything about you, he would have let you go! Instead He kept you as a back up to his new toy!

Anonymous April 15, 2011, 9:19 AM

wrap it up!

Gail Cooke May 5, 2011, 1:50 PM

I think you’re a fool to even consider taking your “husband” back. He’s untrustworthy and now you’re saddled with someone else’s child. Good luck, you’re going to need it. I say hire yourself a lawyer, divorce him for at least half and sue the woman that slept with him.

Joan May 25, 2011, 12:58 PM

Nice article, you’ve got it all figured out… Until it happens again. You must have the mindset of a martyr or a narcissistic tendency. Were you born with those rose colored glasses? It’s not your job to forgive him, it’s to learn from experience & you’re kinda slow…Here’s a hint: look around at the other cheaters & notice they rinse & repeat. Keep that good job, you’re gonna need to take care of yourself.


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